March 28, 2008

Thomas Manton (1620–1677) Citing Romans 2:4

(2.) In seeking to reclaim us, and soften us by many mercies, and by his kind dealing with us. God would break the heart rather than the back of the sinner, and therefore he seeks to melt us with acts of kindness. Now for us to continue our pride and rebellion after all this, what a pride is this of how horrible a nature? Rom. ii. 4, 'Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance, not considering that the goodness of God should lead us to repentance?' God withholds his hand, and is loath to strike; nay, not only so, but doth follow us with acts of grace and kindness, and maintain us with his own expenses, and yet the proud heart of man will not relent. Mark that word, they 'despise his goodness;' they do in effect say, God shall not have my heart for all this. Oh, how great is this pride! These are considerations that may give us a little light to judge of that pride that is in obstinacy and impenitency in sin. If you consider God's absolute right, he hath not only a dominion of jurisdiction over us, but a full propriety in us, to use us at his pleasure; and this right of his is backed with almighty power, and doth not stand with the creature's courtesy; and though it be so, yet it is managed with a great deal of condescension and love; he beseecheth poor creatures, and tendereth offers of peace, and they are fed and maintained at his charge, and taste of his goodness and bounty.
Thomas Manton, "Several Sermons Upon the CXIX Psalm [Sermon XXII]," in The Complete Works of Thomas Manton (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1872), 6:198.

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